2020 SimAUD

MAY 25 - 27, 2020
Virtual Event
The 11th annual Symposium on Simulation for Architecture and Urban Design (SimAUD) offers a platform to unite researchers and practitioners in the fields of architecture, urban design, urban planning, building science, and data science. SimAUD 2020 invites submissions across a range of topics related to simulation with a special emphasis on methods that bridge disciplinary gaps between design, construction, operations, resource management, human behavior, and performance analytics across building and urban scales.
This year SimAUD will be hosted online, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. In past years, attendees have included researchers and practitioners in the fields of urban planning and design, architecture and building science, visualization and construction, as well as software developers, managers, educators, and business professionals. Past SimAUD symposia have attracted exceptionally high-quality submissions (papers, notes, works in progress, datasets, and videos). We highly encourage you to take advantage of the free downloads of previous years’ proceedings. We invite you to submit and present an original contribution for SimAUD 2020. All submissions will be peer-reviewed, and accepted full papers will be published in the ACM Digital Library. Please observe the submission types and deadlines on the Symposium website. SimAUD is run collaboratively with The Society for Modeling and Simulation International, (SCS) and is cosponsored by ACM/SIGSIM.
For additional conference information please visit:  http://www.simaud.org/





Abstracts Deadline: October 27, 2019
Submission Deadline: January 12, 2020
Acceptance Notification: February 23, 2020
Workshop Proposals Due: March 23, 2020
Camera-Ready Due: April 1, 2020 (EXTENDED)
Registration Open: April 1, 2020
Registration Due: May 1, 2020
Call for Workshop Participations: from May 1, 2020
Presentation Link Due: May 17, 2020
Virtual Venue Ready: May 24, 2020
Online Conference: May 25-27, 202

Call for Submissions

Call for Submissions:
Call for Submissions PDF: SimAUD 2020 Call for Papers

We invite you to submit and present an original contribution for SimAUD 2020. All submissions are peer-reviewed and considered for selection by the Scientific Committee. All accepted full papers (8 pages) will be published in the ACM Digital Library: https://dl.acm.org/dl.cfm. However, all the accepted submissions (both full and short papers) will be published in SimAUD’s proceedings. Please observe the submission types and deadlines on the website.

Submission Types
Research works can be submitted in several categories:

  • Full Papers (Archived at the ACM Digital Library)
  • Short Papers (Not archived at the ACM Digital Library)
  • Invited Papers (Archived at the ACM Digital Library)
  • Projects & Videos (Not archived at the ACM Digital Library)
  • Data Sets (Not archived at the ACM Digital Library)

Areas of Interest
SimAUD topics include, but are not limited to:

  • Simulation-based Generative Design
  • Simulation-Based Collaborative Design
  • Simulation-Based Design Tools and Methods
  • Multidisciplinary Design Optimization
  • Simulation Performance and Scalability
  • Building Comfort & Energy Performance
  • Simulation of Occupant Behavior
  • Simulation of Building Controls
  • Physics-Based Simulation in Design
  • Whole Building Energy Simulation
  • Thermal Comfort & Occupant Satisfaction
  • Lighting and Daylighting
  • Airflow In & Around Buildings
  • Acoustics Modeling, Simulation & Design
  • Visualization of Simulation Data
  • Urban-Scale Modeling
  • Uncertainty, Validation and Risk Management
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Design Agency & Multi-Agent Systems
  • Intelligent Buildings & Building Lifecycle Management
  • Sensor Networks & Building Performance Monitoring
  • Interactive Environments
  • Responsive Facades
  • Robotic Fabrication in Design

Note: All submissions are published in SimAUD’s Proceedings.

Submission Types

The following research works in several categories are invited:

Full Papers
Full papers (max. 8 pages) present significant contributions to research and practice in the SimAUD areas. Accepted full papers will be archived at the ACM Digital Library: https://dl.acm.org/dl.cfm. Links to SimAUD papers in the Digital Library are posted at www.simaud.org/papers.php.

Please adhere to the 8-page limit and prepare your paper using one of the templates below:

Paper Template – Word

Paper Template – LaTeX

Short Papers
Short papers are non-archived publications (max. 4 pages) that present brief and focused research contributions that are noteworthy but may not merit a full paper. Typically, short papers provide an overview of research-in-progress and/or thought-provoking work relevant to the SimAUD community. They have not reached completion level necessary for jury review and acceptance as complete papers; however, authors will benefit from in-person feedback from symposium attendees.

Short papers should include:

  • A focused description, and if appropriate, analysis of the work
  • Potential impact of the work to the SimAUD community
  • Recommendations for future research and application in practice

Please adhere to the 4-page limit and prepare your paper using one of the templates below:

Paper Template – Word

Paper Template – LaTeX

Invited Papers
In order to help bring together diverse disciplines we aim to establish a common language of perspectives, case studies, techniques or technologies. One way to start this process is through invited works. The Committee may internally evaluate and invite certain papers, projects, or videos to include in the symposium outside the formal peer-review process. To nominate research that you believe would be beneficial to building this new community, please email any of the chairs with suggestions.

Project & Videos
Many architecture and urban design projects communicate visions of a proposed future. Projects and videos are among the best ways to communicate these visions. We invite project and video submissions of high-quality scientific visualizations of architecture or urban design projects, interactive design decision support systems, compelling animations of construction simulation, and more. We strongly encourage authors of full and short paper submissions to also provide a high-quality video for peer-review and exhibition at the SimAUD symposium.

A project submission is a poster that summarizes a professional or student design project that utilizes simulation as a means for informing design decisions, in an effort to demonstrate innovation and excellence in architecture and urban design. All projects should be submitted on boards that adhere to an A1 page size, portrait or landscape orientation, with no other specific limitations and not necessarily tied to a paper submission.

All papers that were accepted as posters should be submitted following the same format as the project posters.

Accepted projects and videos will be featured in a poster session during the conference, and will be featured on SimAUD’s website. If you plan to provide a video or project, please notify the General Chair by email prior to the submission deadline.

Data Sets
Data sets are optional (but recommended) collections of ZIP files of original data that accompany full or short paper submissions. A data set submission may include, for example, a detailed Building Information Model (BIM) of a real or virtual building that would be of use to the SimAUD community for simulation testing or cross-validation. Another example would be a conceptual model of a process or event expressed as DEVS classes. Other data sets could be point clouds, sensor data, programs, models of HVAC units, fridges, escalators, geothermal, etc. Many scientific communities suffer from a lack of access to high-quality detailed data sets and algorithms. At SimAUD, an accepted peer-reviewed data set is recognized as a significant contribution to science, and we hope to encourage researchers and practitioners to share their data for the greater good of the community.

Data sets will be linked or archived at www.simaud.org/datasets. If you plan to contribute a data set, please notify the General Chair by email prior to the submission deadline.

Online Submissions

All abstracts and manuscripts must be submitted using the SimAUD 2020 Online Submission Site: https://www.softconf.com/sim/SimAud20/.

Peer Review
The Reviewer Guide outlines the SimAUD peer review process and provides suggestions for reviews.


SimAUD 2020 workshops will be announced on the program by May 1, 2020. The workshops will address the topic of simulation from a unique perspective and will offer hands-on learning opportunities on cutting edge computational approaches, workflows and tools. The workshops can be attended both by registered conference attendees and by anyone else interested. This year, all workshops will be held online, due to COVID-19 pandemic. There is no specific limitation regarding the maximum or the minimum number of possible participants

For more information, please visit the SimAUD 2020 Workshop Web page.

SimAUD 2020 Workshops:

Urbano: A Tool to Promote Mobility Aware Urban Design

Yang Yang
Cornell University; Ithaca, NY

Abstract: This workshop is intended for both researchers and practitioners interested in methods for integrating active mobility simulation and amenity analysis into the urban design decision-making process. The workshop will cover automated urban modeling, data synthesis and mobility simulation and analysis for the use in different design phases including site analysis, scheme derivation, design generation, and evaluation. Participants will learn how to analyze street networks and program allocations in terms of mobility performance, how to measure walkability and how to optimize design solutions based on related metrics and different design goals. The workflows will be demonstrated by developing and evaluating different design scenarios in an existing urban environment. As a result, participants will be able to implement mobility aware urban design assisted by performance simulation feedback, which allows the awareness of and the responsiveness to the mobility implication of their design choices.
For this purpose, we will use Grasshopper for Rhino3d with the plugin Urbano.io, a new mobility modeling and simulation tool. It is a collection of modeling and simulation components for computational urban design and planning. The tool is free software released by the Environmental Systems Lab, Cornell University.
It is expected that participants will understand the simulation mechanism of Urbano.io and implement it for evaluating and generating optimized design solutions. The workflows will be demonstrated by developing and testing different design scenarios in an existing urban environment. Key components of the workflows include:
(1) Automated model setup with customized data entries.
(2) Tuning simulation parameters for specific design goals.
(3) Leveraging the provided metrics to analyze amenity and mobility performance.
(4) Creative ways to use the tool for generative purposes.

Requirements: It is recommended that participants be familiar with Grasshopper workflow and have basic experiences in processing shapefile or CSV data in Grasshopper. However, this is not required.
Participants are required to have a Windows laptop with Rhino 6 and Urbano installed. Urbano can be downloaded from the Food4Rhino or urbano.io website.

Geographic Information Systems for Generative Design

Paula Echeverri Montes, Felipe Gutiérrez Duque
Echeverrimontes Arquitectos; Bogotá, Colombia | University of London; London, UK

Video Announcement

Abstract: Since the advent of computers, data is available for anyone to gather and create, from smartphones’ sensors to satellites, all the world’s information is being and becoming digitized. When data is available practically anywhere, the problem becomes how to manage data from different sources so that the intrinsics of what the data represent become evident and manageable. Being able to operate in an environment that allows different disciplines to collaborate through gathering, processing and creation of data such as the Rhinoceros plugin Grasshopper, enables fine-grain control of the design process.
This workshop will explore a workflow that Geographic Information Systems provide for generative design, through our Grasshopper plugin GHopperGIS.
The enhanced collaboration that geo-referencing of data provides, leads to an understanding of the design problem that comes from angles that were not clear or not visible at all before. Coupling this design workflow with other existing Grasshopper plugins in the realm of simulation and modeling, will lead to a design process that is based on real world data (that can be directly picked by the designer/engineers) and that can be directed towards a predicted optimum design. The user will have at the end of the workshop an overview of how to manage data from multiple sources in a geo-referenced model and how to use the model as a starting point for predicting how different design options will behave according to climatic simulations seeded by data of the place in question.
The workshop wants to bridge the gaps between multi-disciplinary teams/information, in which each discipline can be inter-related to the design space through the use of geo-referencing tools. Layers of information can be stacked for a design process in which all the relations between them generate the outcome of each design iteration.
The project that started the production of the plugin we want to present, began during the 2018’s Tomás Saraceno‘s Carte Blanche exhibition at Palais de Tokyo (Link), where in a partnership between Aeroscene and the Thr34d5 collective, data from the NCEP and other sources was taken through a custom developed plugin into Grasshopper for processing as a piece of art that showed the adverse effects of pollution.

Requirements: The workshop is suited for Grasshopper users that have at least a beginner level knowledge of the software. Programming skills are not required but are always a plus.
Participants must have a laptop with an installed version of Rhino6, Windows operating system is a must.

Soft Architecture: Pneumatic Control Strategy – Design with Air Pressure

Zherui Wang, Ji Shi
Princeton University

Abstract: This workshop will showcase a novel methodology using interactive pneumatic systems as a way to interpret the concept of kinetic architecture. We will focus on the hybrid of digital and physical simulation workflow revolving around a physical prototype, known as Soft Architecture. Workshop participants are encouraged to develop and iterate design concepts, ranging from installations, buildings to urban design, through the interaction with the prototype, both physically and virtually.
Kinetic architecture is typically facilitated by mechanical hardwares with defined states and limited range of motions. Pneumatic mechanisms promise greater degrees of freedom than their mechanical counterparts. “Soft Architecture” explores the possibility of an intelligent pneumatic structure and leverages the system’s full range of motion in engaging with design objectives. We will establish communications between 3D modeling software (Rhinoceros) and the Arduino as a way to iterate design by controlling and observing the physical model. Such communications are made through Processing or Grasshopper with certain libs or plug-ins. Custom designed dual valve solenoid systems with proper tubing and fittings will be prototyped to realize such interaction.
Our aim is to explore design methods that adopt a pneumatic system and build a set of simulated conditions for a pneumatically controlled kinetic structure. Participants are encouraged to bring in their own design problems in addition to example scenarios provided by the workshop to test pneumatic design workflows, such as building skin for daylight control.

Requirements: The workshop does not require additional prior knowledge or skills. General interests around robotics and automatic control systems are encouraged. Grasshopper or scripting skill would be an advantageous asset.
Participants need to have their own laptop / PC that runs following software:
1) Rhinoceros
2) Grasshopper plug in for Rhino
3) Processing
4) Arduino IDE
* Open Libs / optional plugins TBD. Further detail to release online.

Topologic: New Perspectives for Conceptual Design and Spatial Reasoning

Wassim Jabi
Welsh School of Architecture, Cardiff University

Abstract: Topologic is a software development toolkit and plug-in that offers the ability to think spatially, topologically, and conceptually about a design project. It integrates several architecturally relevant concepts that enable logical, hierarchical and topological representation of spaces and entities. The goal of the Topologic toolkit is to support the creation of the lightest, most understandable conceptual models of architectural topology. The formal language of topology is well-matched to the data input requirements for applications such as energy simulation and structural analysis. By integrating semantics, topology, and geometry, Topologic provides an effective platform for spatial reasoning. In addition, the ease with which these lightweight topological models can be modified encourages design exploration and performance simulation at the conceptual design phase. Finally, Topologic has been integrated with Machine Learning and Evolutionary Algorithms for classification and optimisation tasks. This workshop will introduce the related concepts, illustrate the powerful features of the software through example workflows, and offer hands-on experience to experiment with customized workflows.

Requirements: Familiarity with either Dynamo or Grasshopper.
A modern laptop with Windows 10. Dynamo 2.X and/or Grasshopper 6.X and the Topologic 1.X software

SiDMACIB: Structurally informed Design of Masonry Assemblages Composed of Interlocking Blocks

Elham Mousavian
Department of Structures for Engineering and Architecture, University of Naples Federico II

Abstract: SiDMACIB is a Plug-in to design the structurally feasible masonry assemblages of interlocking blocks with diverse typologies.
Interlocking blocks are units which, on their faces, have locks keeping the blocks together and increas-ing the block sliding resistance without adhesives during or after the construction. Use of dry-stacked interlocking assemblages is not a new concept in architecture. They can be observed in Roman arches, Japanese wooden joineries and flat arches constructed in 17th century. Recently advanced digital fabri-cation technologies enable the manufacture of interlocking assemblages with arbitrary shapes, increas-ing the popularity of interlocking joints to produce objects with complex shapes like industrial bodies, buildings, furniture.

SiDMACIB designs corrugated interlocking interface. These joints have orthotropic sliding re-sistance, i.e., two different sliding behaviours in two orthogonal directions.

Modelling a single layer shell with arbitrary shape the plug-in:

  • Discretizes the model using stack and running bond pattern and model openings on the shell;
  • Models the interlocking interfaces given the number and orientation of locks;
  • Evaluates the structural feasibility of the model using the extended limit analysis to ortho-tropic interfaces;
  • Quantifies the infeasibility due to the sliding resistance violation;
  • Automatically adjusts the shape of the interlocking interfaces to minimize the infeasibility.

Requirements: Familiarity with Grasshopper.
A laptop preferably with Windows 10. Grasshopper 6 and MATLAB software.

Presentations Kit

Your presentation should be a pre-recorded video containing a narrated slideshow (left and center of figure below) or a video of yourself physically giving the presentation (e.g. blackboard session followed by a fabrication lab demo as shown right in the figure below):


This guide helps you produce one of the three types of presentations shown above, using simple recording methods which are widely available and don’t require extensive knowledge in video production.

Duration of Your Presentation

Your presentation should be short in order to keep your audience engaged:

  • max. 12 minutes for full papers, 8 minutes for short papers. You are welcome to keep it much shorter, however – everything between 4-5 minutes is ideal.
  • Keep in mind that the presentation is not the beef but the beef advertisement: Put forward your main ideas and results, the audience will read the full details in your paper.

For Instructions on Prepparing Your Presentation, go to: http://www.simaud.org/2020/presentations_kit.php

Registration & Pricing



Registration  |  April 1, 2020 – May 1, 2020

  • Regular: $50
  • Student: $20*

*Notice to Students: The Student Verification Form is not needed to receive the student registration price.

Virtual Venue

The conference will not be held at TU Wien in Vienna, Austria. The conference will be held online, using pre-recorded presentations and live webinars.

Organization Committee

General Chair: Angelos Chronis, angelos.chronis@ait.ac.at, Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT)
Program Chair: Gabriel Wurzer, Gabriel.wurzer@tuwien.ac.at, TU Wien
Workshops Coordinator: Wolfgang E. Lorenz, Wolfgang.lorenz@tuwien.ac.at, TU Wien
Scientific Chair: Christiane M. Herr, Christiane.herr@xjtlu.edu.cn, Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University (XJTLU)
Scientific Chair: Ulrich Pont, Ulrich.pont@tuwien.ac.at, TU Wien
Scientific Chair: Dana Cupkova, cupkova@cmu.edu, Carnegie Mellon University
Scientific Chair: Gabriel Wainer, Gabriel.wainer@sce.carleton.ca, Carleton University

Conference Sponsorship Provided by:


In Cooperation with:

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Questions? Call Phone: 858-277-3888 or Email scs@scs.org